Nightmares

3 05 2007

Sophie received a $10 Toys R Us card for her birthday. Gift cards are all the rage and the preferred present for my girls right now. They immediately tuck their card in its slot in their wallet so it will be immediately available for shopping.

Last weekend I took her to spend her coveted card. We walked around and around and around. She hemmed, she hawed, she changed her mind approximately every 3.5 seconds.

Eventually she narrowed it down to a stuffed “Pound Puppy” and a “Skip-it“.

I told her that although the Pound Puppy was quite adorable, the last thing she probably needed was another stuffed animal. A Skip-it, on the other hand, provided exercise and hours of summertime fun.

She still was unsure. So, typical of my pushy, I-know-what-you-want-more-than-you-know-what-you-want way – I made my point again. And more forcibly, I suppose. You know how when you truly believe that you are right and someone disagrees, you make your point again without deviation from the first point, but maybe talking more slowly and at a decibel level a notch higher? Yeah. I did that.

She got the Skip-it.

After she played with it for awhile that afternoon she came inside and plunked dejectedly on the couch.

“What’s wrong, Soph?” I asked.

“Well…” she sighed, “I feel like you pressured me into that Skip-it.”

*silence*

I finally replied, “Well, you’re right. I did. Wow, I am so sorry. When payday rolls around how about I get you that Pound Puppy? We can’t take the Skip-it back now because it is all scratched up, but I think you deserve what you really wanted in the first place.”

I figured the Pound Puppy is not going to break the bank at $9.99, plus she hit that nail right on the head.

I felt relatively good that I had made it through this crisis – owning up to my mistake and even better, realizing that Soph was articulate enough to make her way through this issue with reason and calm, not having to throw a fit like a spoiled brat. It all felt really pretty good.

Until this morning.

Ten minutes before I walked out the door she woke up crying. Not just whimpering a little, but the screaming scared crying that comes from a really bad dream.

I scooped her up and carried her to the couch whispering, “It’s okay….it’s not real. I’m right here…..it will be alright.” I always advocate talking about the dream because I found that when I was small and in my nightmare phase that talking about it seemed to lessen its intensity.

After a few shuddering breathes she faltered into telling me the story,

“We were at the fair, just you, me and Katie. You kept telling me to go on the bungee jump ride. You know the really big one that shoots you waaaayy up in the air on the rubber band things? You kept saying, ‘Just do it Sophie. I know you will really like it.’ So, I finally just did it. (crying loudly) AND THE RUBBER BANDS BROKE AND I FELL! I didn’t even want to do it in the first place.” (crying even louder)

Holy shit. See the connection?

I am directly responsible for my daughter’s worst nightmare.

Betcha I don’t get much for Mother’s Day this year.

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7 responses

3 05 2007
Christine

Aww poor Soph. I’m very proud of her for the grown up way she handled her disappointment in the “Skip It.”

And you’re still the best mom on the block. You’re not the only one using that pressuring technique. Check out my law school career. I didn’t come up with “I want to be a lawyer” by age four on my own. 😉

3 05 2007
rennratt

OH, honey!

How awful for BOTH of you.

I agree with Christine. You are an awesome mom, and this will all work out.

4 05 2007
Ant

Oh dear, no I’m afraid you’ve completely messed up this whole motherhood thing now.

I mean, 8-year-olds talking about conflicts in a rational and adult way and feeling able to communicate to their family about nightmares? That’s just not right.

I’m calling the social workers on your ass…

7 05 2007
Squishi

holy.

i am um… wowed.

You have quite a smart and lovely little girl there 🙂 And i bet she does get you the best mother’s day present ever anyway.

10 05 2007
Janie

shari, shari, shari… as clearly evidenced above (and by your whole blog and by your two beautiful girls), you are clearly the most amazing mom. nightmares are horrific though, especially with young’ons. i hope sophie enjoys her pound puppy.

11 05 2007
Lisslo

It will be just fine. You haven’t traumatized her or anything. You are the best mom I know. *hug*

14 05 2007
tiff

Ouch.

Parenting is tough, but really it does sound like you’re doing just fine. Of course I say that because I’ve done similar things with my Things….and hope that perfection isn’t really a desireable trait in a Mom.

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